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Outrage in Europe After Chinese Ambassador Questions Sovereignty Of Former Soviet States

Chinese Ambassador to France, Lu Shaye

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Beijing is backpedaling and referring to comments made by its ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, as personal views after his statements regarding former Soviet states erupted in controversy and fury across Europe and resulted in the summoning of ambassadors.

During a French television interview on TFI, the ambassador responded to a question about whether or not Crimea is part of Ukraine under international law by saying that the peninsula historically belongs to Russia and had been given to Ukraine before adding that “Even these countries of the former Soviet Union do not have an effective status in international law, since there is no international agreement that would specify their status as sovereign countries.”

Given that Lu’s remarks have called into question the sovereignty of ex-Soviet countries, Ukraine included, many European leaders are now demanding answers from China. The Baltic countries of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have reportedly gone so far as to summon their Chinese ambassadors for an explanation. The fallout across Europe is expected to continue, according to Zerohedge.

The statements come at an awkward time for China as it has recently positioned itself as a third-party capable of acting as a global mediator for peace between several countries, including an attempt at negotiating a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia.

Lu’s remarks also directly contradict China’s position according to comments from Fu Cong, the Chinese ambassador to the European Union. According to Fu in an interview earlier this month, China does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea or the territory in the eastern Donbas region that Russia claims to have taken during its war on Ukraine. Instead, Fu stated that Beijing recognized Ukraine’s internationally accepted borders.

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Fu went on in his comments to explain that China had not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as it believed Russia’s claims that the war was defensive against NATO encroachment and because Beijing believed “the root causes are more complicated” than what Western leaders claim they are.

The Chinese government has consistently refused to completely condemn Russia, instead opting to criticize NATO’s expansion.

Lu originally said that the issue of Crime “depends on how the problem is perceived” as the region was “at the beginning Russian” and then “offered to Ukraine during the Soviet era.” The ambassador then added, “Even these ex-Soviet countries don’t have an effective status in international law because there was no international agreement to materialize their status as sovereign countries.”

Many European leaders have taken Lu’s comments as a denial of the sovereignty of former Soviet states that gained independence when the Soviet Union fell in 1991, and which then joined the United Nations as members.

In response to the controversial comments, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement Monday:

“China respects the sovereign status of the former Soviet countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union,” spokesperson Mao Ning. According to Mao, Beijing’s position is “consistent and clear” but Mao did not offer a clarification as to whether or not Beijing viewed Lu’s comment as incorrect.

Meanwhile, EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell, quickly took to Twitter to express his discontent and condemn the Chinese ambassador’s statements.

Borrell then went on to express concern regarding Georgia and Moldova, which are both former Soviet republics that have felt threatened since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The EU chief went on to say that those countries, “see the war (in Ukraine) very close, they feel the threat” and claimed that the issue will be addressed by European ministers in coming days. “For us Georgia is a very important country and remember that it has specific security issues because its territory is partially occupied by Russia,” Borrell added Monday.

In response to Lu’s comments, France quickly expressed its “full solidarity” with its affected allied countries and encouraged Beijing to explain its position. Germany has also “taken note of the Chinese ambassador’s statement on French television with great astonishment, especially since the statements are not in line with the Chinese position known to us so far.”

China has thus far not acknowledged Lu’s remarks as the personal views of an ambassador as opposed to Beijing’s official position, while also affirming the sovereignty of the affected former Soviet countries.

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1 comment

D3F1ANT April 25, 2023 at 1:30 pm

The balance of the civilized world has been thrown off kilter because the United States has faltered. When America is weak, the wolves gather. The Democrats are openly aligning themselves with global totalitarians rather than with the interests of the American People. The enemies of Liberty have been emboldened by a vacant Oval Office and gnash their teeth as Joe bastes us in the juices of tyranny. The citizens who know better have been quelled into compliance as Democrats use the corrupt DOJ as a political bludgeon. Something’s got to give but there are bleak prospects on the horizon. The corrupt Democrats have locked up their political opponent, and even if they don’t get away with it and he is allowed to run…they now openly steal elections! With impunity! I’m still expecting them to create an excuse to “suspend” the 2024 election.

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